Between 2009 and 2019, boys high school lacrosse saw a 28.3 percent increase in participation, making it one of the fastest growing sports in the country. While exciting, this increase in participation means an increase in competition for college roster spots and athletic scholarships. How does an athlete stand out from the growing crowd of high school lacrosse players?
Find out in our guide to men’s college lacrosse recruiting.
In 2017, the NCAA asked Division 1 student-athletes to share their recruiting experience in a survey. The results revealed an alarming trend of early recruiting, with 81 percent of lacrosse student-athletes reporting that they had been contacted by college coaches prior to their junior year. Compared to the other 10 NCAA sanctioned men’s sports, lacrosse had the highest rate of early recruiting by 18 percent.
To prevent this trend from growing, US Lacrosse and the IWLCA/IMLCA worked with the NCAA to establish a new recruiting rule that prohibited college coaches from contacting student-athletes until after September 1 of the athlete’s junior year.
View the full NCAA men’s lacrosse recruiting rules and calendar.
What are college coaches looking for in a recruit? NCSA’s lacrosse recruiting coaches have put together a recruiting guide for men’s lacrosse recruits that breaks down the position-specific skills needed to play at each NCAA division level.
Here’s a quick overview:
• NCAA Division 1: Elite, well-rounded athletes are best suited for Division 1 programs. At this level, college coaches have the most influence over admissions to secure top talent on their team.
• NCAA Division 2: Fewer men’s lacrosse programs at the Division 2 level doesn’t mean less talent. Competition at this level is still strong.
• NCAA Division 3: Division 3 college coaches may not be able to offer athletic scholarships, but that doesn’t stop them from recruiting the same talent as Division 1 and 2 schools.
View full recruiting guidelines.
Taking a proactive approach to the college recruiting process means not waiting until coaches can contact you. Recruits should take the following steps to kick-off the recruiting process:
• Research lacrosse programs: Determine what you are looking for in a college and then identify which of the 400 four-year institutions and 21 junior colleges meet your needs.
• Build a recruiting profile: Build a strong recruiting profile with your top stats and upload a recruiting video.
• Create a highlight video: Impress college coaches looking to evaluate your skillset with a strong highlight video that shows your versatility, lacrosse IQ and athleticism.
• Attend lacrosse camps: Increase your access and exposure to college coaches and develop your skillset by attending lacrosse recruiting camps.
• Contact college coaches: College coaches can’t respond to your emails until after September 1 of your junior year, but it’s still important to send introductory emails letting them know you are interested in their program.
In 2019, the NCAA introduced 16 D3, five D2 and three D1 lacrosse programs, but funding for these programs has not yet caught up with the growth. While D1 men’s lacrosse programs have a maximum of 12.6 scholarships to offer, it’s important to note that this number is not directly indicative of how many scholarships are available. As the maximum scholarship limit allowed per program at each division level, the reality is that many programs are not fully funded and don’t offer the maximum number of scholarships.
NCSA’s Power Rankings report was designed to aid student-athletes and their families in the college search process. We’ve ranked the top colleges and universities that offer men’s lacrosse based on important factors, such as cost, size, location and academics, to help you create a list of realistic prospective schools with men’s college lacrosse programs.
View top colleges and universities that offer men’s lacrosse.